Anti-intellectuallism carried out by the famous Baha’i Universal House of Justice

Baha’is and their UHJ handlers- who are divine according to Baha’i propaganda- have created an atmosphere of anti-intellectuallism amongst its members.

Any one who has had academic training, and has questioned the sinister motives of the UHJ has been “quicked out of the Baha’i ranks”.

The only ones left with “academic credentials” are Baha’is who are used car salesmen, failed businessmen, failed psychiastrist indicted in sexually battery, failed professor fired from Berry, and many other mentally unhinged Baha’is with poor credentials but with a “huge blind allegiance” to the UHJ.

Story of Abbas Amanat

The true story of Abbas Amanat is as follows.  He was brought up a Baha’i,in a Kashan family that had traditionally been Jewish but that had converted to the Baha’i faith in the previous generation.  His brother Husayn designed the monument at Azadi square in Tehran, and also the seat of the universal house of justice.  His father is an accomplished historian and is writing a multi-volume history of the Kashan Baha’i community.  His brother Mehrdad is also a historian and co-authored the section on Qajar Iran in the prestigious Cambridge History of Iran.  As a young intellectual at Tehran University and then later at Oxford, Abbas noticed that there was an authoritarian and anti-intellectual streak to the Baha’i organization, as exemplified in bigots such as Furutan (who had played a very sinister role in the attack on and suppression of Mazandarani’s scholarship back in the 1930s and 1940s).  Abbas therefore very wisely decided rather early on that he wanted nothing to do with the Baha’i organization.  However, he has said repeatedly and publicly that he is “in love with the Bab.”
Abbas wrote his dissertation on the Babi movement at Oxford under the direction of Albert Hourani and Roger Owen, two of the magisterial historians of the Middle East in our times.  He then came to the United States to teach at Yale.  He did not ask to be transferred from the UK to the US Baha’i community, but some helpful person in Wilmette heard of his advent and entered him into the US rolls.  Abbas, naturally, declined to submit his major historical study of the Babis for their approval or censoring to the motley assemblage of insurance salesmen, electrical engineers, bit part actors and failed businessmen who staff the upper echelons of the Baha’i administration.  His book was published by Cornell University Press in 1989.

The Baha’i Distribution Service, to its credit, felt that Abbas’s book would be of interest to the Baha’is, and therefore contracted with Cornell University Press to buy 500 copies.   When the book was distributed to the Baha’is, it generated large numbers of angry letters from the fundamentalists in the community who have the impression that they own the religion and can tell people what they may or may not say.  They were upset that it departs from the details of Nabil’s Narrative (which many have elevated to the status of infallible scripture) and Shoghi Effendi’s God Passes By (ditto).  Moreover, some religious bureaucrats in Wilmette became uneasy about carrying a book by an author who was on the rolls but who had declined to have it reviewed.  A dispute therefore broke out in Wilmette as to whether the Baha’i Distribution Service should continue to carry the book.

This dispute was ultimately submitted to the universal house of justice, which in reply declared that Abbas Amanat was not a Baha’i, and therefore the Baha’i Distribution Service was welcome to distribute his book, as it would be to distribute the book of any non-Baha’i author.  I have a copy of this letter, but it is in my file cabinets somewhere and I am not going to spend time digging it out just to satisfy Susan Maneck, who may believe it or not as she likes. In the good old days before the universal house of justice’s membership began being stacked with former counselors (who tend to have an Inquisitorial mindset, since part of their job is Inquisition), the only way to be removed from the rolls of Baha’i membership once you were entered on them was to write a letter explicitly renouncing belief in Baha’u’llah.
Professor Amanat has never done so, although it is no secret that he long ago dissociated himself from the Baha’i organization and its authoritarian practices. I find Susan Maneck’s speculation about his internal, private, existential beliefs, based on nothing more than hearsay, to be extremely rude and the height of slander (since she is bringing up slander).  Has she ever had so much as a private conversation with Professor Amanat?  I find her, and her organization’s, willingness to expel Baha’is from their own religion by haughty and arrogant fiat, to be not only offensive but indicative of a quite dangerous mindset.

In any case, the US Baha’i authorities have slightly more integrity about these things than do the Canadian ones, since they declined to remove Professor Amanat from the rolls simply on the say-so of the universal house of justice.  They have sought from him a clarification of his views, but he maintains that his views are nobody’s business.
However, I will indulge in a little speculation.  I think that if the Baha’i religious authorities really desire to make themselves so odious that they succeed in chasing out of the religion all the major Baha’i professors at major universities, that they will succeed in this.  Apparently the real purpose of these intellectual programs is to ensure that it may be said that learned persons such as Denis MacEoin, Abbas Amanat and Linda Walbridge are not Baha’is, but the real Baha’is are ignoramuses who know no Middle Eastern languages, know nothing serious about Baha’i history, and adhere to a fundamentalist and intolerant point of view on the Baha’i faith, and who have managed to get themselves elected to high office (often through the most shameful campaigning and manipulation).

Juan Cole

Baha’is committing adultery would make the UHJ the richest Organization in the World

“God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice nine mithqāls of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offence . . . Although the term translated here as adultery refers, in its broadest sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), `Abdu’l-Bahā has specified that the punishment here prescribed is for sexual intercourse between persons who are unmarried . . . In relation to the application of the fine, Bahā’u’llāh clearly specifies that each succeeding fine is double the preceding one; thus the fine imposed increases in geometrical progression.”
Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, pp. 200–202.

Unmarried people who engage in acts of sexual intercourse—especially teenagers— will likely frequently perform such acts. The number of times copulation occurs in a year can easily reach one hundred times if this shameful act is performed only twice a week. The amount of gold payable by each of these two people equals to: 3.6 grams * 9 * 2^100 =   41071879447394632608493183854 kilograms, which is fairly equal to 8000 times the weight of the earth.

Just in case you are wondering, the fine will be about 34000 kilos of Gold if copulation is performed only 20 times.

We’ll leave it to up to the readers to judge the practicality of these luminous laws. One wonders how a society governed by this law will ever be able to get closer to economic justice and attaining a means of livelihood for all people.

Source:  p. 337.

1- The Independent Search After Truth, Unfettered by Superstition or Tradition

1. Is the Principle of Investigating the Truth New?


Investigating the truth is a new principle.[1]


Seeking the truth is the foundation of all the Prophets.[2]

[1] “Another new principle revealed by Bahā’u’llāh is the injunction to investigate truth—that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 454.

[2] “His Highness Moses spread the truth as did his Highness Jesus and his Highness Abraham and his Highness the Messenger (meaning the Prophet Muḥammad) and his Highness the Bāb and his Highness Bahā’u’llāh. They all established and spread the truth,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 5; “The foundation of all the Prophets . . . is truth, and the truth is one. His Highness Abraham was the harbinger of truth. His Highness Moses was the servant of truth. His Highness Christ was the establisher of truth. His Highness Muḥammad was the propagator of truth. His Highness A`lā (meaning the Bāb) was the herald of truth, and his Highness Bahā’u’llāh, was the light of truth,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 55; “The foundation of the divine religions is one. It is one truth, it is one spirit, it is one light, and it does not have a multitude. Among the foundations of the divine religion is seeking the truth [so] that the whole of humanity seeks the truth,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 66.


2. What Is Bahā’u’llāh’s First Principle?


Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is investigating the truth.[3]


Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is the oneness of humanity.[4]

[3] “Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is the seeking of the truth. Man must seek the truth and set aside imitations,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 144.

[4] “His first teaching is the Oneness of the World of Humanity,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 5.

3. Are Non-Baha’is Ignorant and without Reason?


One must not label people as being ignorant.[5]


Whoever does not become a Baha’i is among the most ignorant of the people, even if he has mastery over all sciences.[6] Whoever does not become a Baha’i has no reason even if he thinks he does.[7] Whoever denies my teachings completely lacks reason.[8]

[5] “The divine principles in this luminous era are such that one must not insult anyone or attribute them to ignorance [by saying] that you do not know and I know. Rather, one must view everyone from a respectful perspective and must speak and argue from the viewpoint of seeking the truth. [They must say] come, there are several issues at hand, so let us seek the truth, and see how and why [it is so]. The missionary must not consider himself wise and others as ignorant. This thought will result in arrogance, and arrogance causes a lack of effectiveness; instead, one must not see any merit in himself and must speak with the maximum extent of kindness, humility, and humbleness. This kind of expression will be effective,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 1, p. 355.

[6] “If today, someone grasps all of the knowledge on earth but stops at the word ‘yes’ (meaning does not become a Baha’i), the Lord will not pay attention to him (ladī l-Ḥaqq madhkūr na) and he will be considered as the most ignorant amongst the people,” Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, p. 111; “From now on nobody is to be called knowledgeable, except those who have decorated themselves with the garment of this New Affair (meaning those who have become Baha’is),” Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, pp. 138–139.

[7] “The general criterion is what we mentioned and any soul who has success in it, meaning recognizes and realizes the Sunrise of Manifestation (meaning himself), will be mentioned in the Divine Book as someone who possesses reason or else he will be (mentioned as) ignorant even if he himself thinks that his reason equals that of the whole world,” `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiy-i āsimānī, vol. 7, p. 160.

[8] “No one has denied or will deny what has been revealed by the Ancient Pen (meaning himself) in this Most Great Manifestation regarding society, unity, manners, rites, and being occupied with what has benefits for the people, except that he completely lacks reason,” Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, p. 168.

4. Can the Recognition of God Be Obtained through Intellect?

Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā:

Reason was created for the purpose of recognizing God.[9] Recognize God by using reason and narrations.[10]


Recognition cannot be obtained by the use of reason.[11]

[9] “The first grace that has been bestowed on the human body is reasonand its purpose is the recognition of the Truth (meaning God) Exalted be His Glory,” Bahā’u’llāh, Muntakhabātī az āthār Ḥaḍrat Bahā’u’llāh, p. 127. The official Baha’i translation reads: “First and foremost among these favors, which the Almighty hath conferred upon man, is the gift of understanding. His purpose in conferring such a gift is none other except to enable His creature to know and recognize the one true God—exalted be His glory,” Bahā’u’llāh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahā’u’llāh, p. 194.

[10] “If you seek the recognition of God (`irfān ilāhī) . . . refer to the arguments (put forward by) reason and narrations,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 8, pp. 119 -120.

[11] “Know that today, that which has reached your reason or will reach it, or is perceived by the reasons of [those with intellects] superior or inferior to yours, none are the criterion for recognizing the Truth (meaning God) and will never be,” Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, p. 286.

5. Should We Investigate or Accept without Any Questions?


A person who is fair, will investigate and do research to seek the truth.[12]


Accept my words without any questions or comparison with someone else’s words.[13]

[12] “Those who are fair will examine, research and inquire. This examination and inquiry will result in their guidance . . . they say: ‘We will go and see, and we will investigate the truth,’” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol.1, p. 189.

[13] “No pleasure has been created in the world greater than listening to the verses [brought by Bahā’u’llāh] and understanding their meanings and not objecting to or questioning any of the words and comparing them with the words of others,” Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, p. 145.

6. Investigating the Truth: Only for Non-Baha’is


Different religions should listen to the words of other religions. Perhaps, what is right is with them.[14]


Even if someone criticizes Baha’ism with proof, do not listen.[15]

[14] “The followers of Moses (i.e. Jews) have imitations (taqālīd), Zoroastrians have imitations, Christians have imitations, Buddhists have imitations, and every nation has imitations [and] thinks that its imitations are correct and the imitations of others are invalid. For example, the followers of Moses believe that their imitations are correct and the imitations of others are invalid. We want to find out which [imitations] are correct. [Obviously] not all imitations are correct. If we stick to an imitation it will prevent us from correctly investigating other [religions] imitations. For example, a Jewish person cannot understand that other [religions] are correct because he believes and sticks to the imitations of Judaism. Therefore, he must put aside the imitations and seek the truth and [think that] perhaps others might be right. Thus, until imitations are not put aside, the truth will not become manifest,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p.17 (citing `Abdu’l-Bahā’).

[15] “‘Therefore, it is incumbent upon all the friends of God to shun any person in whom they perceive the emanation of hatred for the Glorious Beauty of Abhā, though he may quote all the Heavenly Utterances and cling to all the Books.’ He continues—Glorious be His Name!—‘Protect yourselves with utmost vigilance, lest you be entrapped in the snare of deception and fraud. This is the advice of the Pen of Destiny,’ `Abdu’l-Bahā, Bahā’ī World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā (`Abdu’l-Bahā’s Section Only), pp. 430–431.

7. Should Baha’is See and Hear or Become Blind and Death?


Research and listen with your own ears and see with your own eyes.[16]


When I speak become death, blind, and ignorant and blindly accept my words.[17]

[16] “When humans attain the rank of [religious] maturity they must investigate . . . and [they] must hear and see with their own ears and eyes,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p.11 (citing Bahā’u’llāh).

[17] “Become blind so that you see my face, become deaf so that you hear my pleasant tone and voice, become ignorant so that you get a share of my knowledge, and become poor so that you can take an everlasting portion from the sea of my eternal riches. ‘Become blind’ means [see] nothing but my beauty and ‘become deaf’ means [hear] nothing but my words and ‘become ignorant’ means [have no knowledge] but my knowledge, so that with a pure eye and clean heart and fine ear you come to my sanctified realm,” Bahā’u’llāh, Ad`iyyih-i ḥaḍrat-i maḥbūb, pp. 427–428.

Why Bahaullah had three wives ??? ( An open Question to all Baha’is )

To justify why Bahā’u’llāh had three wives, Baha’is usually put forth the argument that since Bahā’u’llāh was practicing Islam before he became a Baha’i, he was legally allowed to have three wives. In a letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 23/10/1995 to an individual believer it has been mentioned:

“Regarding the wives of Bahā’u’llāh, extracts from letters written on behalf of the beloved Guardian set this subject in context. They indicate that Bahā’u’llāh was “acting according to the laws of Islām, which had not yet been superseded”, and that He was following “the customs of the people of His own land”:
“. . . as regards Bahā’u’llāh’s marriage it should be noted that His three marriages were all contracted before He revealed His Book of Laws, and even before His declaration in Baghdād, at a time when Bahā’ī marriage laws had not yet been known, and the Revelation not yet disclosed (25 May 1938 to a National Spiritual Assembly).”
“Bahā’u’llāh had no concubine, He had three legal wives. As He married them before the “Aqdas” (His book of laws) was revealed, He was only acting according to the laws of Islām, which had not yet been superseded. He made plurality of wives conditional upon justice; ‘Abdu’l-Bahā interpreted this to mean that a man may not have more than one wife at a time, as it is impossible to be just to two or more women in marriage (11 February 1944 to an individual believer).”
. . . Bahā’u’llāh married the first and second wives while He was still in Tihrān [sic], and the third wife while He was in baghdād. At that time, the Laws of the “Aqdas” had not been revealed, and secondly, He was following the Laws of the previous Dispensation and the customs of the people of His own land (14 January 1953 to an individual believer).”
Source: Wives of Baha’u’llah

All the above justifications are fundamentally flawed. We already showed the fallacy in `Abdu’l-Bahā’s justification. The second justification presented here simply states that since Bahā’u’llāh had married his three wives when he was still a Muslim it was perfectly legal for him to do so. This is a blatant lie:
The Bāb announced his new religion in 1844. The exact date that Bahā’u’llāh became a Bābī is unknown but it is definite that it occurred before 1848 when he attended the conference of Badasht—in which Islamic law was officially abrogated and superseded—and he took on the name Bahā. So by 1848 he was definitely a Bābī. Now let us review the years when Bahā’u’llāh married his wives: Bahā’u’llāh married his first wife Āsīyih in 1835 while he was still a Muslim. He married his second wife Fatimih in 1849 when he was no longer a Muslim but a Bābī! What was Shoghi thinking when he had uttered: “He was only acting according to the laws of Islām, which had not yet been superseded.”?

In Shoghi’s translation of Dawn Breakers it has been mentioned that Ṭāhirih, a great advocate of the Bāb had openly preached the Bāb’s ideas, one of which was monogamy:

“She began to correspond with the Bāb and soon espoused all his ideas. She did not content herself with a passive sympathy but confessed openly the faith of her Master. She denounced not only polygamy but the use of the veil and showed her face uncovered in public to the great amazement and scandal of her family and of all the sincere Mussulmans but to the applause of many other fellow citizens who shared her enthusiasm and whose numbers grew as a result of her preaching.”
Nabīl Zarandī, The Dawn-Breakers: Nabīl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahā’ī Revelation, p. 270 (footnote).

Other Baha’i authors have also echoed this belief in their writings:

“The Bāb’s laws abolished polygamy except in the case of infertility.”
Robert H. Stockman, The Baha’i Faith: A Guide For the Perplexed (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012), chap. 6, section on the fortress of Maku.

Bahā’u’llāh was openly practicing bigamy while according to Shoghi it was not legal and Ṭāhirih was actively denouncing it in accordance with the Bab’s beliefs.

From this point onwards, matters become even more interesting. Bahā’u’llāh married his third wife Gawhar in 1862 when he was still a Bābī and this third marriage too was completely illegal according to what Shoghi claims are Bābī laws.

Source: Twelve Principles: A Comprehensive Investigation on the Baha’i Teachings, pp. 488-489
Download – Twelve Principles: A Comprehensive Investigation on the Baha

Baha’i Faith is gaining more followers in India



•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Bhagalpur
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Rajgir
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Thane
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Baroda
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Kanpur
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Bangalore
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Chennai
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Mumbai
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Ahmedabad
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Mafo
•  Local Bahá’í Council of the Orthodox Bahá’ís of Patna


•  Aurangabad
•  Nagpur
•  Chennai
•  Cochin
•  Mahua
•  Bhavnagar
•  Lucknow
•  Hyderabad
•  Cannanore
•  Mallapuram
•  Calcutta
•  Kamarhatty
•  Bhopal
•  Indore
•  Bhubleshwar


•  Dombivli
•  Imphal
•  Kalyan
•  Udaipur
•  Mira Road
•  Dhanabad
•  Ulhasnagar
•  Thakurli

Prominent Baha’is in India

•  Dr. Ram Krishna Singh

An outstanding Orthodox Baha’i whom the Orthodox Bahá’ís are fortunate to count as a supporter. He was nominated international man of the year by the International Biographical Center of Cambridge, England — a wonderful tribute to his accomplishments.

Born, broughtup and educated in Varanasi, he is a university professor, teaching English language skills to students of earth and mineral sciences. He has authored over 150 articles,165 book reviews and 34 books, including Twelve collections of poems, among them, two jointly with U S Bahri, TWO POETS (1994) and COVER TO COVER (2002), and two others, EVERY STONE DROP PEBBLE (1999) jointly with Catherine Mire and Patricia Prime, and PACEM IN TERRIS (2003, a trilogy collection, containing my haiku collection PEDDLING DREAM). MY SILENCE AND OTHER SELECTED POEMS:1974-1994 (1996), ABOVE THE EARTH’S GREEN (1997), and THE RIVER RETURNS (2006) are other three important poetry books. NEW INDIAN ENGLISH POETRY: AN ALTERNATIVE VOICE: R.K.SINGH (ed: I.K.Sharma) is the latest publication on his poetry. It contains 22 critical articles, six interviews and over a dozen review/comments by about 30 scholars. (Details from ). He has received several awards and honours, including honorary Litt.D. from the World Academy of Arts and Culture, Taiwan, 1984, Michael Madhusudan Award, Calcutta, 1994 and Peace Museum Award from Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, 1999.
For more information visit:

•  Dr. Zayn Luqmani Fateh

Dr. Zayn Luqumani Fateh, a physician by profession, is an intellectual amongst the Bahá’ís of India due to his deep understanding of the Faith and his ability to quote freely from the Bahá’í scriptures, Dr. Fateh has written many articles to his credit, including an English article on the matter of the continuation of the Guardianship. In addition to English, Dr. Fateh is well versed with Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi and Gujarathi and languages like Arabic and Persian too.

Dr. Zayn Luqmani is the son of the late Dr. M.R. Luqmani, who was bestowed by the first Guardian Shoghi Effendi with the title of FATEH, the spiritual conqueror of Ceylon, where he rendered outstanding services and saw the formation of the local council and finally the National Spiritual Assembly.

•  Vinod Kumar

Vinod Kumar was the secretary of the Provisional National Bahá’í Council of India since its inception. A young and devoted Orthodox Bahá’í, a banker by profession, formed many local Orthodox Councils around Delhi and in other places.

Vinod Kumar says: “We consider ourselves blessed and fortunate to be under the shadow of the beloved third Guardian.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Letter of Protest to UHJ Member by Grand Daughter of Abdul Baha

Protest Letter to Mr. Adib Taherzadeh, member of the Universal House of Justice, December 1994. By Bahiyeh Afnan Shahid, in response to his book The Covenant of Baha’u’llah.

Mr. Adib Taherzadeh
Universal House of Justice
POB 155 31001

Dear Mr. Taherzadeh:

It is with a heavy heart and a feeling of great sadness that I write this to you.

I recently came across your book “The Covenant of Baha’u’llah” published in 1992. The introduction inside the dust cover reads:

The Covenant of Baha’u’llah is a unique and priceless heritage, unprecedented in past Dispensations. It carries within itself enormous potentialities for the future in the unfoldment of Baha’u’llah’s new world order, and ultimately the Golden Age of Mankind.

Hinging, resounding words with which I could not agree more.

Familiar with your four-part work on the “Revelation of Baha’u’llah” I quickly turned to the list of contents. In part Three, The Lesser Covenant, you have a chapter which you call ‘The Faithless Relatives of Shoghi Effendi.’

May I say, it left me totally dumbstruck!

A book with the shining name of Baha’u’llah in its title, written by someone called not only Adib, but Taherzadeh as well; a fifth generation Bahai and a member of the Universal House of Justice; a writer whose work is considered “an outstanding contribution to Bahai literature… a magnificent book” by the Bahai Reviewing Panel of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the UK. A writer of recognised “scholarship and eloquence”, making allegations, accusing, sitting as judge and jury and passing sentence on all the relatives of Shoghi Effendi. These are the descendants of the Bab, Baha’u’llah and the Master, and for you to so blithely describe them as Covenant breakers and faithless is to assume powers of judgement that leaves one aghast.

Contrary to the events of Part One and Two of your book, when I was neither alive or around, the events of the above-mentioned chapter were very much a part of my life. My maternal grandparents, who were Shoghi Effendi’s parents, his aunts and their husbands, their children and grandchildren, my own parents, aunt and both paternal and maternal uncles and their children – they were all very much a part of my life and my existence. I knew a great deal about them, and most of all, I knew a great deal about my parents, Nayer and Rouhanguise Afnan, about my husband, Hassan Shahid, and myself, Bahiyeh Afnan Shahid.

I do not know where you get your information about the family of Shoghi Effendi, but in your description of their behaviour and motives I could detect no relationship to the facts of the lives of the people you so carelessly write about. Had you taken the trouble to contact some of them, you, like all scholars, would have found that history is a many-faceted thing. Even a half-hearted effort at research into the lives, characters and motives of those mentioned, would have quickly shown that the facile, careless and carefree condemnation that you scatter around is rather rudely denuded of any relation to fact and reality.

Of course, had you done so I suppose that might have exposed you to the danger of becoming a ‘covenant breaker’ yourself, and maybe that is not a risk worth taking, even in the service of scholarship. But you would have found the facts very different from those which you recount.

Knowing that there was no effort made by you to gather first-hand information from or about the people involved, I can only conclude that you had only two sources to fall back on:

1.    Shoghi Effendi’s cables, &

2.    Hearsay.

Regarding hearsay, I will give you just one brief example here and return to it later. I have with my own ears heard and with my own eyes read about Rouhiyeh Khanum being “the last surviving member of Baha’u’llah’s family. (Should you wish to have chapter and verse I shall be happy to provide them). This I consider hearsay supreme, but it seems to be accepted as fact in certain quarters.

I should now like to come to a much more important source, Shoghi Effendi’s cables, which you so fully quote. (Incidentally, this gives me my first chance to see them.) They throw a very interesting light on things.

As you fully recount in Parts One and Two of your book, both the periods of Baha’u’llah and the Master were rife with the problems created by the active, aggressive and deliberate opposition created by members of the family who opposed them during those periods.

Very well aware of all these matters, none, and I repeat none, of the members of the family that you deal with in your chapter wanted either to question, undermine, or disturb the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi, or hinder the execution of the big trust placed in his hands by the will of the Master. For years they helped him in all sorts of ways and in different capacities, until Shoghi Effendi saw fit to distance each and every one of them from the Cause and the community. You only have his version of why he considered them unworthy and systematically condemned them. But, and here is the point that I wish to underline: every one of them saw fit to withdraw quietly, without creating any trouble or difficulty. Not one of them, beginning with his parents, and down to my generation, raised a voice in dissent or made an unseemly move. In the interest of the Cause and its unity, matters as dear to their hearts as they were to the hearts of Baha’u’llah and the Master, none of them disputed these verdicts. But this silence should not be misrepresented as an admission of guilt.

The family accepted Shoghi Effendi’s decision and judgement precisely because he was the Guardian of the Faith and the Master had so designated him. On what basis, and why such judgement and condemnations were made may have been another matter, and maybe, with time, that too will become clear. But, Mr. Taherzadeh, and here I speak to you as a privileged member of a family who has considered its condition a form of shahadat in the service of the Cause, you, in one brief chapter, in a book that bears the illustrious name of Baha’u’llah, and in a section regarding the Guardian of the Faith, have sat in solitary judgement all over again. You have dragged the names of sincere Bahais and silent sufferers into the mire. If we are all as awful as you say we are, do not sully the names of Baha’u’llah, the Master and Shoghi Effendi by saying that all Shoghi Sffendi’s family were faithless covenant breakers. Stories that do not stand either the test of close examination or first-hand knowledge are not worthy of inclusion in a book regarding the Covenant and Cause of Baha’u’llah, to which they, one and all, were true and sincere, and in the precepts and principles of which they all most truly believed.

The family’s dedication to the Faith ran not only in their blood but in their hearts and their minds. Under very difficult circumstances they maintained it. For them it was a source of succour and support. They were out of the community and they were out of the Cause, and to this day, I for one, have a long list of questions to find out why. However, I can vouch for one thing with determined conviction: they were neither covenant breakers nor ‘faithless’. The very term ‘naghezeen’ denotes those people who had gone against, deliberately undermined, and plotted against the will of Baha’u’llah. ‘Naghze Ahde Jamale Ghedam’ was to refuse to accept the position of the Master as appointed in – Baha’u’llah’s will. Can you, in all honesty, consider anything any members of the family of Shoghi Effendi did, or might have been accused of doing, as casting doubt on the position and authority of Shoghi Effendi, as set out in the will of the Master?

Not one of the daughters of the Master, including the mother of Shoghi Effendi, their husbands, their children or their sons-in-law – Afnans, Aghsans or son and grandchildren of Sultan el Shuhada – ever cast any shadow of doubt on the will of the Master or Shoghi Effendi’s position and authority. Should you wish to go into this matter in greater detail I shall be very happy to do so, in person or by letter.

But to return to hearsay.

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